Text: Genesis 2:18

The Bible teaches us that the wife was made to be a help meet for the husband (Gen. 2:18). However, due to misconceptions of the verse and the acceptance of worldly philosophy, this teaching is now seen with some distaste, even in Christian circles. Thus, it is imperative for us to understand what exactly it means (and does not mean) for the wife to be a help meet for a husband.

What It Does Not Mean
Firstly, the fact that the wife is a help meet to the husband does not mean that the husband should not be helping the wife in her household chores. Admittedly, there are some husbands who abuse the good teaching of Genesis 2:18, and make themselves a dictator and bully to their wives.
However, Ephesians 5:25-30 says, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.” If the husband is to love, nourish and cherish his wife, surely he is not to abuse her, but to care for her in all her ways. Let us thus be clear here – a godly husband must never bully his wife.

Secondly, the verse does not teach that wives should help their husband to do wickedness. Remember, the verse says that the wife is to be a help meet (i.e. appropriate) for her husband, and not just a help for her husband. She should not be tempting her husband to embrace worldliness, neither should she be obeying her husband when he tells her to do things contrary to God’s Word. Genesis 2:18 must never be taken as an excuse for the promotion of sin in the family.

Thirdly, the wife as a help meet for the husband does not mean that she is any less equal in the eyes of God. While there may be a difference in function, yet both husband and wife are equally valuable to the Lord. Both are made in the image of God (see Gen. 1:27). And if they are both believers in Christ, they are all heirs together of the grace of life (1 Pet. 3:7). Therefore, let not the wife view being a help meet to the husband as something demeaning to her. It is an honourable vocation from the Lord, and the woman who embraces it whole-heartedly will surely be blessed.

What Does It Mean?

Firstly, the fact that the wife is made to be a help meet for the husband means that the husband cannot serve God alone in the running of the family. Just like there are many members in the church who are called to build up the body of Christ in their different ways, so it is also for the godly family. When husband and wife serve in their respective roles joyfully in the Lord, they can be a powerful testimony for the Lord Jesus Christ.

Secondly, the fact that the wife is made to be a help meet for the husband means that the husband is the head of the family (1 Cor. 11:3). Thus, he sets the spiritual direction for the family, and the wife is to be in submission in all things so long as it does not contradict the Word of the Lord. Thus, Ephesians 5:22 teaches, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” Husbands, you ought to set the spiritual tone of the home. And wives, you ought to do your best to help your husbands to put into action what God has led him to do, so that a godly family can be established. When the husband and wife neglect their God-given roles, the testimony of Christ is soon lost and the experience of joy is thrown out of the home.

Thirdly, as the wife is to be a help meet (i.e. appropriate) for the husband, it means that she ought not to do things that will stumble her husband. Rather, she should do what it takes to help the husband fulfil his spiritual role in the family. Just like in the church where we seek to do our best to help each other excel in the role which God has given us, so the wife is to do her best to make sure that the husband can excel in his role as the head of the family. Similarly, the husband is to do his best to help the wife excel in her role in the family. When either do not walk close to the Lord and take offence in the other’s godly stance, would it not cause much chaos in the family? Let wives be the best spiritual help they can be for their husbands.

What then is the wife’s role in the home? Titus 2:3-5 say, “The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” Thus, the wife’s chief calling is to the home. If the wife is distracted from this role, how can the home be a happy one?


Proverbs 31 describe the wife who is a wonderful help meet to her husband. As it is required by the Lord for the children of Israel to take good care of the land which had been allocated to them by lot, so the wife helps her husband in this area to the praise and glory of the Lord’s name. Thus, the chapter concludes, “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.” (Prov. 31:30-31) What is interesting is that though the husband sits in the seat of authority at the gates of the city, yet it is the wife who is the focus, for all knew that the husband was only able to perform his role admirably because of the help which his wife renders. If the home is a mess, how can he perform his judicial duty well? Thus, the Lord through the wife has helped both to bring praise to His name. May we have such godly wives. Amen.

Yours affectionately,
Pastor Clement Chew